an excerpt from

"Scout's Honor"

IV

Evening 1, 9:22 PM Camp Stories

 

“All right boys, round up,” the Scout Master began. “Does

everyone have their mallows at the ready?”

“Yes, sir!” the boys shouted in unison.

“Very well, then. You may proceed with Operation Smores.”

Assistant Scout Master Driggers clicked his pen and jotted a note

in the campfire planner.

“Tomorrow, most of you will earn your canoeing badge and I

have to stress safety. No scout will enter the canoe without their

life vest…is that understood?” asked the Scout Master.

Mouths full of marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate

shouted a garbled version of, “Yes Sir!”

“Ok, next on the planner is story time. Who has a good story

they would like to share?” asked the Assistant Scout Master. This

was met with a chorus of marshmallow mouthed, “Me! Me! Me! I

got one…ooh, ooh…I got one!”

“Miguel, let’s hear yours,” the Assistant Scout Master pointed

his clip board toward the thin boy with light brown skin and dark

hair.

“Mine is pretty scary, Mr. Driggers. I know sometimes little

Stevie over there gets afraid,” Miguel cut his brown eyes in Steve’s

direction. He was met three fingers and both he and Steve grinned

– it was code for read between the lines.

“Steve’s a big boy…” the Scout Master started.

“He certainly is,” David finished and got a punch in the arm

from his chubby companion.

“Continue, Miguel,” Lester chimed in and everyone but Miguel

went silent.

“Ok, here it goes.”

 

On a night, much like this one, there was a man and a woman who

had been married for a couple of years. They were driving their

old car down an empty dirt road. You see, they were going to

spend a couple of days in a log cabin. The wife’s father had left it

to her when he died a few years before. About a mile or so away

from the cabin, the car had a flat tire, and the spare was just as

flat. So, the man and woman had to hoof it. It was close to

midnight and the moon was full. And…it was cold…not warm like

we got it tonight. It was really cold. The couple marched through

the woods with only the moonlight to guide them. The husband

didn’t check the flashlight batteries and when he flicked it on, it

gave two bright shines and then quickly turned dark. They were

about a half mile away when they both heard a whisper…“Over

here.” The man and woman tried to pretend that they didn’t hear it

the first time and they started walking faster. The strangest thing

was that, outside of the whisper, the woods were silent except for

what was crunching under their feet. Then there was a shout,

“OVER HERE!” The man and woman couldn’t pretend that they

didn’t hear that and they both looked at each other. They decided

to go in the direction of the call. “You’re getting close! Hurry Up!”

They kept getting closer. “Release Me!” the voice shouted and it

sounded like it was coming from somewhere below them. They

looked and looked. They kicked at the pine straw and such

underneath their feet. The man kicked what felt like wood. He

pushed the pine straw and leaves aside with his feet. There was a

bunch of boards nailed together kind of like those wood pallets you

see at the grocery store every now and then. “I’m in here!” The

voice was coming from under the boards. The woman ran over and

helped her husband move the boards out of the way and there was

nothing but a soft mound of dirt – a mound of dirt with someone

shouting inside of it. They got on their hands and knees and began

to claw and dig.

 

The fired crackled and popped. All of the boys and the two

grown men were completely engrossed in Miguel’s story as he

continued.

 

They dug quickly, all the while telling the voice that they were

going to free him. It would be just a couple of more minutes and he

would be free. The woman reached into the dirt and felt something 

smooth and round. It felt like wood, she clawed around it and her

husband stopped digging once he realized that two empty sockets

from a fully formed human skull were looking back at them. The

woman screamed and the man grabbed her by the arm. They both

ran as quickly as they could towards the cabin. In the distance

behind them they heard, “Don’t leave me! Don’t leave us!” They

paid no mind and kept running. They would get to the cabin and

figure it out. The woman was frantic with panic and her husband

was almost there with her when they reached the front door of the

old log cabin. The man rummaged for the key under the flower pot

on the front deck but before he could find it, the woman turned the

knob and the door opened. They ran inside and the man told her

that the stick candles were sitting on top of the shelf beside the

wood stove. Her hands were shaking badly as she struck the match

to and placed it on the candle’s wick. She used the one lit candle to

light another for her husband and handed it over to him. Then they

heard another whisper from inside the house, “I’m hungry mister.”

They both turned together toward the whisper and there was a

little girl with black hair and white fangs smiling at them both and

there was an old lady’s cackle right behind them. They were never

seen or heard from again. True story.

 

“Hey genius,” Peter Mosley aka, The Smooth Operator, began.

“If they were never seen or heard from again, then how did you tell

this story? They sure as heck didn’t write it down.” Miguel held up

his three fingers and all of the boys started giggling. The Scout

Master and Assistant Scout Master Driggers were outside of this

apparently inside joke.

“Good story, Miguel. Now, it’s time to get some shut eye,” the

Scout Master stood up in front of the popping fire and loudly

clapped his hands together.

Steve began his whine, “Aw, Dad…I wanted to tell my story.”

“Son, I told you out here, it’s Scout Master and you can tell

your story tomorrow night.”

 

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